alright, got a situation here with possible swolutions - help appreciated!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by tasunkawitko, May 10, 2009.

  1. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    guys - i'm sure it's all happened to us. got a much later start than we intended when we rubbed down the butt the night before ~ what are the alternatives?

    i've got a 6-lb. butt that i just put on at 0945. i removed teh fat cap, so i am guessing that the weight on the grate is 5.5 lbs. i had intended to get this on early today, but, ha-ha, stayed up way too alte last ngiht when some stupid movie took way longer than i thought it would and THEN for some reason i stayed up for the movie after it!

    anyway, figuring 1.5 hours per pound as a general rule of thumb, i am looking at a cooking time of 8.25 hours, which isn't bad, all things considered - it would ahve been much worse if we would have had a heavier piece of meat! since i started at 0945, we could, in theory, be done by 1800, which would be just about right. i am using my ECB since it has all the mods and temp control is not yet reliable on my SnP until i get a couple of the mods in (this week, i hope!).

    ANYWAY, what do you guys think? should i be pretty safe assuming i should be done by 1800, or should i start making contingency plans such as foiling and finishng in oven, cooking at higher temps etc.? i normally have the meat on the heat and the smoke with no foiling until it reaches 190 degrees and then foil for half an hour. this has worked well in the past, but if foiling it at 160 degrees will speed things up a significant amount, i'm willing to try it.

    i realize that no amtter what, BBQ takes time, just wondering if i should be concerned at the timetable assuming we want to eat at 1830 or 1900 at the latest.

    thanks in advance!

  2. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've never had a butt finish in that amount of time. If I were in your shoes.... I'd smoke it until 4:00.... I mean 1600 and pull it out and foil it... slam it in the oven at 325. It should be done by 1800. I don't think you stand a chance of having it done and rested in time to eat by 1830. Once you get a good smoke on and the meat has hit 140 or above... I wouldn't hesitate to slam that butt in the oven to finish it off at a higher temp. I'd be tempted to set the oven on 350 or 375 at the beginning and when it starts reachin pullin temp.... back it off. Make sure and add the drippins and some more moisture before you foil it. It will be great.
  3. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i like your thinking, pig, and it makes sense - that sounds like a prudent way to go in order to make sure that it is done on time. - thanks!
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Exactly right Pigin.... Mine took 9 hours yesterday. You didn't say at what temp you were shooting for, but I'd bet it will take far longer than you hope- especially since you want it to. It always works out that way......

    Good luck on your smoke!
  5. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i forgot to mention - i normally hold for a temp of 250 when smoking ribs or pork shoulder. sometimes it is 240 or so, but for the most part it holds well at 250.

    pig's advice sounds spot-on and i'll monitor things as the day goes by. i was hoping that since it was only a 5.5lb butt, i might get away with a shorter cooking time, but as we know, BBQ isn't JUST about cooking!
  6. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would say that you will be ready to pull it at about 1800. rest for 30 minutes and pull. so dinner at 1700 should be fine. Now in the event that it doesnt get to 205 in time you can pull it out at 190 and do chopped pork for dinner. Still will be mighty tasty and tender.

    I would not put it in the over and raise the temp until the internal gets above 170 175. I have found that if I rush it before this time that its not as tender as it is when I let it go slow. Between 150 - 175 is when all the connecting tissue is breaking down. This is the reason for the stall during this period.

    Good luck with it

    Cant wait to see the finished product.
  7. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What he said, been there & done that.
  8. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    also keep in mind there is a reason for the low n slow.... not that you wont have cooked pork when your done but will it be what you are shooting for. personally i would wait til its done on the smoker, or at least til foil stage and then finish in oven but also at low temp. so it really wouldnt save you any time.... its the price you pay my friend!!!
  9. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You give it a try and see if it's any good. If it aint.... I'll send you another butt to smoke.... no... wait... I can't do that... you'll tell me it was bad just for the butt. I mean... that's what I'd do.

    Obviously the preferred method is low and slow till the end but I've been where you are and in an emergency... that's what I do..... and honestly without hesitation... it turned out tender and juicy.
  10. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    guys - appreciate the advice and comments so far ~ i'll take it an hour at a time and see how we go.

    a little more on the preparation of this butt this morning: due to lack of ingredients, i ended up using my old friend durkee's st. louis style pork rub rather than rivet's outstanding rub. also, instead of regualr mustard slathered on, i tried dijon mustard, just to try something new. i am using my standard mop of dr. pepper, soy sauce and olive oil - am going to try some sort of orange-pineapple juice with teriyaki and oil next time!

    as of 1215, the temperatures are running just a little high, if i had to guess, i'd say they are between 260 and 280, possibly a bit higher. it's looking a little browner than i would expect and not the cherry-red that i have seen in previous smokes, but it's all good, i think. will get a picture the next time i tend the fire and mop, maybe 1330 or so. will also take some temperatures on the grate and possibly in the meat. i will be VERY glad when i get a digital dual-probe thermomenter!
  11. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    here's a pic from abour 1230:


    and here's one from about 1400:


    when the second pic was taken, the water pan was very low, and the temps were about 275. i refilled the waterpan, and temps seem to be holding right around 250. internal temp at 1400 is right about 120 degrees - so things actually look to be on schedule.

    the color is not as reddish-brown as i am used to. my #2 son prpared the shoulder alst night and used less rub than i normally used. this could be the reson, or perhaps the cooking at slightly higher temperatures, i am not sure. it is getting plenty of sweet-smelling hickory, though - i've mopped it a couple of times, but am mostly just doing it only when i am doing something else, such as messing with the charcoal. so far i've only gone through half a bag of charcoal (about 9lbs) rather than the normal bag and a half that it takes me to use my SnP. this is mostly due to the very nice outside temps today, but also due to the fact that i still need to get them SnP mods done.

    looking ok so far, jsut a little different......
  12. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    one other thing to mention - i am using rivet's outstanding pulled pork finishing sauce, but since there is no beer in the house today, i am substituting that with apple juice. should make for an interesting result!
  13. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looking real good there. I think that the red you may be used to comes from the paprika and chili powders. Those plants have a lot of color to them that leaches out. If you are on schedule, you're good to go!
  14. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    alright, folks, interesting curveball here.

    the last couple of hours, pit temps have held steady in the 250 range. i just checked the internal temperature of the meat and it pulled a GTO on me ~ the internal temps are, at the least, over 220 degrees. i checked the temps in several places and there is no fat cap to mess up the readings on the thermometer, which is reading accurately.

    here's sthe strange part, the bone is not loose from the meat. a piece of meat did pull off and was tender and fairly moist. a tad drier than it should be, probably, but it was no big deal and it was from the outside of the meat, not nisude, which should still be mooist (or at least i hope).

    wasn't sure what to do with this, so i foiled it and put it in the oven at 250 for now until i can figure out a plan. it is only 1615 here in my time zone and we are way ahead of the schedule here.

    any ideas?
  15. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Let it go til the bone gets loose. I have successfully smoked em at 275º+ with no problems, just shorter cook times. But the crowd here rules. Just keep the thing in there til that bone loosens up.

    Looks great so far and best wishes to ya.
  16. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    thanks, pig - that sounds like a plan! it's double-foiled and sitting in the oven at 250 now - i figure i'll check it in about an hour or so.

    we're going to do a pasta salad (ranch dressing/bacon) as a side dish ~ also, i've taken some yellow onions, skinned them and shoved a beef boullion cube into the top of each one - sprinkled on a bit of lawry's and worcestershire sauce and wrapped them in foil. i wanted to smoke them until the meat was done, but when the internal temp of the meat went way up i shut down the smoker for today.
  17. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Slap a pat of butter on each one (you foiled them individually I assume) or about a TBSP of olive oil and put them in the oven with your brisket. They'll be perfect by the time dinner comes.

    Keep us posted!
  18. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    alright, guys - the ftill-foiled butt is wrapped in towels and resting in the cooler. should be all good to go. the pasta salad is being prepared as we speak and i think we're good

    rivet - when i was foiling those onions (yep, individually!) i knew i was forgetting something. a pat of butter or a little olive oil would have been perfect! they are done now, and resting with the shoulder, so i will add a little butter when i open them up to serve.

    quick question - we'll be serving the pork on a plate, no buns ~ it lokos like a full batch would be way too much, but maybe half would be about right, if i mixed it in with the pulled pork before serving. out of a whole batch of finishing sauce, how much should i mix in with the pork? or should i simply pour a little on top of each pile of pork which is what i've been doing?
  19. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    well, folks, this turned out pretty darn good, in spite of some ups and down for the cooking process. as you know, i wrapped it in foil and kept it in a warm oven for a couple of hours, and when the time came to pull it apart, it was just about perfect. not quite as "pullable" as usual, but tender, juicy and very good tasting. here's a pic:


    for some reason, there wasn't much of a smoke ring, but plenty of smokey goodness within the shredded pork. the ring itself is a chemical reaction that stops when the meat reaches a certain temperature (120 degrees), and considering the unusual rapid rise in internal temperatures during this smoke, this probably explains the situation. the pork was finished with rivet's sauce, which i mixed in with the shredded meat and served on plates without a bun. the pasta salad and baked onions (hopefully smoked next time!) were great! ~

    some iced tea and the new/old pepsi prvided refreshment. for those of you who haven't seen this yet, pepsi has dumped the corn syrup from mountain dew and pepsi and is now making them with sugar under the name "pepsi (or mountain dew) throwback." i've really cut down on my pop consumption the last few years, but i did try these and they were excellent, just like they tasted when i was a kid. i can safely say that corn syrup has ruined the soft drink industry and hope that pepsi keeps up with these excellent offerings.

    anyway, it was all good and a happy mother's day was had by all!
  20. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


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